Open and closed questions and the over 60’s

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In my experience people over the age of 60 can struggle with the open/ closed question thing and it’s brilliant – let me explain…… Over the years as I have recorded conversations with older people, often in their 80’s I have noticed a pattern. And yes older people do tend to have a bit of an issue with the open/ closed question situation. I might start with “Can you remember much about your childhood?” – closed question, I think and it should solicit a “yes”, a “no” or “a little bit” type answer. In reality it doesn’t because the person doing the recording immediately jumps into a description of the school they went to, how strict the teachers were, their favourite subjects etc. And if I ask an open question like “What can you remember about your childhood?” – I get the same answer. That makes life so easy for me when I am doing the audio recording or the video. The truth is that older people for sure, and I think it applies to younger people too, like having the opportunity to have a chat and tell a few stories with someone who has time to listen.

Your mum, your dad, your grandma, your grandad telling stories about their lives on video. Now there’s a The Present of a Lifetime. Ring Howard on 07795 252797

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